What we do
Pain is distressing for those suffering from it and if poorly controlled can delay recovery after illness or surgery. Pain can also be a feature of chronic conditions such as arthritis preventing a person from leading an active life. Pain management is therefore aimed at:
- Reducing the distress caused by pain
- Controlling pain to a level which is acceptable to the patient and which allows them to recovery quickly from illness or surgery.
- Allowing patients with chronic pain to lead as active a life as possible.
For patients coming into hospital the responsibility for the management of pain lies with the team of staff, doctors, nurses and physiotherapists etc caring for them. Patients can play their part by assisting staff with questions about their pain and effectiveness of pain management treatment.
Unfortunately pain is not something which can be measured with a machine in the same way as blood pressure or heart rate. Therefore it is important that patients tell staff if their pain is not well controlled or if they are experiencing any adverse effects as a result of its treatment.
For patients undergoing surgery a range of pain relieving techniques are available the use of which being dependant upon the nature of the surgery and the patients medical condition. Patients undergoing elective (booked) surgery should feel free to discuss these with pre-assessment staff, their surgeon or anaesthetist.
The hospital has two pain services both of which form part of the Department of Anaesthetics, Critical Care and Pain Management.
For hospital in-patients experiencing pain caused by injury, illness or following surgery a Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) for acute pain is available for advice and support to patients and staff. Pharmacists also visit the wards and may be asked about pain relief, particularly in regards to the use of pain killing drugs. Out of hours in-patient advice and support is provided by on call anaesthetists.
For chronic "on going" pain the Trust has a chronic pain service. This is made up of a team of doctors and nurses who provide advice, support and treatment to patients suffering from a wide range of chronic pain conditions. If necessary they can also call upon the help of physiotherapy and psychology staff. The main aim of the service is not to provide a cure for the cause of the pain but to help the patient manage their pain effectively and lead as active a life as possible. As a result the service primarily deals with patients on an outpatient basis.
Hours of Operation
Acute Pain Service - CNS Acute Pain available Monday to Friday 8:30am to 4:30pm
Chronic Pain Service - Outpatient clinics run during the week.
Department of Anaesthetics, Critical Care and Pain Management
Acute Pain Tel No 01922 721172 ext 7388
Chronic pain Tel No 01922 721172 ext 6864
Are Self-Referrals Accepted?
How to Access the Service/Referral contact information
Acute pain service - In-patients only. A member of hospital staff will contact the service on the patients behalf.
Chronic pain service - Written referrals accepted from General practitioners and Hospital Consultants only.